How long have you been improvising?
I mean, technically my whole life, if you really think about it. But actually I have been improvising for about four and a half years, since I was in the 10th grade.
How long have you been involved with the UIG?
This is my first year with the UIG! I started up in September and have been obsessed ever since.
What or who got you interested in improv?
There are several people responsible for this. Two friends of mine, Julia and Skippy, were in theatre and kept trying to force me into improv; they thought I’d love it and be good at it, but I refused. So Julia brought me to an improv show at Rapid Fire Theatre, where I saw Lee Boyes perform is show Leegion. I saw how much fun he had and how well he had performed and I thought “I wanna create stuff like that”, and that is how Lee Boyes convinced me to become an improviser.
What is the best part about being a member of UIG?
I don’t think people realize the community of it. UIG isn’t just an improv group, it becomes a safe haven or a family. People also don’t know how many damn group chats there are, it is quite overwhelming.
Are there scenes or lines that have stuck with you?
TOO MANY TO COUNT. I had one scene with Anna McMerch where she was my wife, but she had a baby with another man and she kept souvenirs of her late husband all over our house. It was the perfect mix of serious, but still comical and wild. Another was a scene I did with Sheldon Stockdale where we were two mob bosses stuck on an iceberg; we had to keep switching characters, but we had a gag where we kept shouting and repeating the character name “TONY” over and over again and ended up slow dancing on said iceberg.
What is something most people don't know about you?
Most people don’t know about my bald obsession, unless you know me really well. I take pictures of bald people around Edmonton and post them on Instagram. Follow me @my_bald_collection
What do you consider your greatest achievement, either on or off the stage?
I would consider my greatest achievement being auditioning for Rapid Fire Theatre. I didn’t get into the company, but even being asked to audition and the experience of it overall was incredible. I never thought I would come that far and I’m pretty proud that I did !
What advice would you give someone interested in trying improv?
DO IT DO IT DO IT. It’s so fun, liberating, encouraging, and just helpful in life! People are scared because they think they will embarrass themselves, but damn IT’S A CONFIDENCE BUILDER
What is your field of study/work/interest outside of improv?
Right now I’m getting an English degree, but my end goal is to do special effects makeup and creature concept design for film and theatre.
Anything else you want to add?
I would just like to add that Tyra Banda is a soft teddy bear, please keep her safe and warm.